Pressure on non-governmental organizations and donors to publish information on their aid and development projects should be maintained even as these groups take initial steps to improve transparency, a London-based blogger and researcher says.
Francis Bacon has lauded Oxfam GB for breaking ranks and providing detailed information on all the foreign aid projects it funded between 2009 and 2010. In a recent blog entry, Bacon says Oxfam GB has responded to a formal complaint he filed with the organization.
“In response to my formal complaint that the NGO was breaching its ‘Open Information Policy’, Oxfam have sent me the details of every overseas project they funded in 2009-10,” Bacon shares. “They admitted there had ‘been a breakdown in our internal communications’ and that the information should have been made available immediately.”
Bacon notes that, to his knowledge, Oxfam GB is the first U.K. NGO to publish its spending at a large scale. The organization provided Bacon with information on all 1,017 projects it funded from 2009 to 2010.
“Hopefully the pressure on Oxfam (and others) to publish aid data will grow - and not diminish - as a result of them taking this first tentative step towards greater transparency,” Bacon says.